CT’s 2022 Teacher of the Year: Art teacher from Mansfield Public Schools

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MANSFIELD, Conn. (WTNH) — An art teacher from Mansfield is Connecticut’s 2022 Teacher of the Year.

Kim King, a PK-4 art teacher at Southeast Elementary School and the Annie E. Vinton School, received the state’s highest teaching recognition on Thursday.

King has served as an art teacher at Mansfield Public Schools for the past six years. Before that, she worked at Riverside Magnet School in East Hartford and Westbrook High School in Westbrook.

Gov. Ned Lamont, Connecticut Education Commissioner Charlene M. Russell-Tucker, and other state and local officials made a surprise visit to Southeast Elementary School.

“Connecticut has the best school system in the country, and America has the best school systems in the world,” Lamont said at a schoolwide assembly. “I guess that makes her one of the best teachers in the world.”

King’s focus on allowing students to be creative and use art to heal has taken on new meaning amid the pandemic.

“It means so much to me because I feel like this is the time for creativity, not just in the art room, but across the curriculum,” King said. “As teachers, we learned through quarantine how to be creative, and how to engage our students.”

The designation of Connecticut Teacher of the Year is decided annually by the Connecticut Teacher of the Year Council, a group of former recipients of the honor and representatives from educational organizations, businesses, and the community. The council said it reviewed nearly 100 district-level Teachers of the Year through a rigorous selection process that included candidate applications, virtual interviews, and site visits.

King is now Connecticut’s representative for 2022 National Teacher of the Year.

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